Trims from the flea market. Paris. 2019.
If you can't tell, we're obsessed with fabric. Blends, knits, weaves, materials, prints - if it stands on it's own, it'll probably catch our eye.
We don't consider price. And we aren't about any single quality of a fabric - searching to create the most durable overcoat, or the most comfortable pair of pants, or the most luxurious silk top. Sometimes that is the end result (especially the pants part) but only because the fabric led us there - not the other way around.
We don't start with the design either. Our next product run could be pants, or a shirt, or an over coat, or a bath robe. We don't know and we like it that way.
We start with a blank slate and let the fabrics speak to us. We run our hands down a long rack of mill headers and pause when there's something different. When walking through a trade show we're more likely to be visiting the small booths in the back corners than those at the main stage.
To be honest, we've always found life more interesting in the back alleys than the main roads anyways.
Once we find that fabric that's when the fun begins. We dream of all the possibilities this treasure could be. We sketch ideas, and the best ones we sample on our ancient Singer with whatever scrap yardage we have on hand. If we like the look, we send the prototype to our factory to be made in the actual fabric - this saves us from wasting new yardage on designs that won't work. Meanwhile, we test the fabric for quality and shrinkage and colorfastness and any other features that might be intriguing. Once we get the sample back from the factory, we let it sit with us - wear the samples for a few weeks, run them through the wash, find the features we love and hate. We might make a few small changes, but we strive to get it right the first time.
Next comes pre-production. Our patternmaker grades the production sizes. We figure out yardage requirements and look at how many units can reasonably order without breaking the bank. Yardage is ordered, markers are made.
Then we tell the team go - it's production time. Garments are sewn. Photos are taken and products put on the website. Packaging is stamped. Emails are written and ads get made.
And while all that's happening, we're peeking into another mill or walking down another aisle in the back corner of a trade show. Touching new bolts of fabric. Getting new ideas. Starting with a new blank slate, and already beginning to see the threads of a new story take shape.